Kanpur’s GSVM Medical College has claimed that that it is the first one in the country to cure blindness through stem cell transplants.
About ‘Stem Cells’ –
- These are cells with the potential to develop into many different types of cells in the body.
- Under the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells.
- These daughter cells become either new stem cells or specialised cells (differentiation) with a more specific function, such as blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle cells or bone cells.
- No other cell in the body has the natural ability to generate new cell types.
- They serve as a repair system for the body.
- Stem cells are present inside different types of tissue. Scientists have found stem cells in tissues, including the brain, bone marrow, blood, and blood vessels, etc.
Types of stem cells –
- There are two types of stem cells.
- Embryonic stem cells —
- These stem cells come from embryos that are 3 to 5 days old.
- At this stage, an embryo is called a blastocyst and has about 150 cells.
- These are pluripotent stem cells, meaning they can divide into more stem cells or can become any type of cell in the body.
- This versatility allows embryonic stem cells to be used to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and organs.
- Adult stem cells —
- These stem cells are found in small numbers in most adult tissues, such as bone marrow or fat.
- Compared with embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have a more limited ability to give rise to various cells of the body.
What is Induced pluripotent stem cells?
These are adult stem cells that have been changed in a lab to be more like embryonic stem cells. These cells behave in a similar way to embryonic stem cells, so they could be useful for developing a range of therapies.